Joining a video call from your desktop or mobile device is easy. Just click on a link, and you’re in the call. But when it comes to connecting a conference room to Skype for Business, Zoom, BlueJeans, Webex or the many other platforms out there, things have generally been a bit more complicated. Logitech has been working hard to solve for this – first with the introduction of Logitech Kit, and later by teaming with Microsoft to create Logitech SmartDock for Skype Room Systems.
SmartDock is an AV meeting room solution designed in collaboration with Microsoft. SmartDock works with Skype® for Business and qualified devices, including Logitech ConferenceCams, to provide a seamless, user-friendly touch-screen console to launch and manage video calls in any meeting space – from the huddle room to the large conference room. With SmartDock, people can start meetings on time with one-touch join, then instantly project to the display in the room and share to remote participants via their Skype for Business clients on their smartphone or laptop. The Skype Room System (SRS) also includes the ability to place or join an audio-only call.
SmartDock has been incredibly well received in the market. As the first Microsoft partner to deliver a dedicated SRS solution, we’ve had over a year in the market and have received feedback from customers around the globe. For example, King County IT in Washington loves using SmartDock.
Introducing SmartDock Flex
Our customers have shared with us how they’re using SmartDock in the real world, how well it’s performing, and where they’ve encountered challenges. Through these conversations, we’ve gathered some great feedback, and that feedback has enabled us to make SmartDock better than ever. Based on customer input and our own observations, we developed the SmartDock Flex expansion kit. Below are some of the highlights of this new meeting room solution.
The first enhancement we made is around cabling. SmartDock is a console that incorporates cabling for data, USB, and dual HDMI. That’s a lot of cords. In our first version of SmartDock, we consolidated all those separate cables into a single custom-made five-meter cable. And now with SmartDock Flex, we’ve taken cabling to a whole new level by consolidating everything into a single CAT6 cable. That means you’re able to run audio, video, and data through up to 50 feet (15 meters) of CAT6 that routes easily through a standard conduit.
Meet using any application
One of the things IT managers love about SmartDock is that it’s purpose-built for Skype Room Systems. If your organization has standardized on Skype for Business, SmartDock is the ideal meeting room solution. But the reality is that even when you rely on only one or two applications within your company, you’ll need to attend partner, customer and vendor meetings that use other collaboration platforms. SmartDock Flex lets you collaborate using all of these applications with AV passthrough to the room’s camera, speakerphone, and display.
How does it work? SmartDock Flex adds passthrough access for both local projection and participation in external meetings. To project slides and documents to the room’s display, simply connect a laptop via HDMI. Need to join a meeting or webinar outside the Microsoft ecosystem? Simply connect a laptop via HDMI and USB. Now, the room’s camera, speakerphone, and display can be used with Cisco WebEx, Zoom, BlueJeans, and most any meeting or webinar service. This enables instant interoperability without the need for complex, over-the-top interop services.
The Bottom Line
Together with Logitech SmartDock, SmartDock Flex provides a sleek, versatile, and user-friendly conference room solution for Skype for Business. So if you’ve been considering SmartDock for your organization, we have some great news. We’re now making a great product even better. And if you already have SmartDock installed, we’ve got good news for you…
SmartDock Flex can easily be added to all existing SmartDock consoles.
SmartDock has already earned recognition for elegance and ease-of-use with a GOOD DESIGN Award. With SmartDock Flex, we’ve made a good design even better.
This article was originally published here.